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37 and 340 days

In 25 days I?ll be 38. This is of course quite ridiculous and entirely unfair.

I don?t look 38 and I don?t think I act 38, although I used to, about 10 years ago. Thus my ageing process is totally ass about face. My mid to late 20s were spent with a bad perm, fat thighs, owl-framed glasses and a lot of brown clothes, when brown was definitely not the new black. I had a steady job and fiancee and was just, well, steady I suppose.

Then, in my early 30s everything changed and I became quite the reverse — unstable? — and life has been a lot more fun since. But this impending 38 thing is dragging me down more than usual. I know a lot of people might not guess my age, but that seems to make me even keener to tell them. I fear that I?ll become one of those mad old ladies in fuzzy felt hats who proudly announce their age to complete strangers on the bus. ?I?m 38 you know?.

I happily hang around with a lot of friends younger than me and while I?m the only one whose ID doesn?t get checked, I don’t really think about our age differences, I just act as I am. But maybe that’s my real problem. You get told that age creeps up on you and being easily frightened, I find this disturbing. Maybe this will be the birthday when that mutton-as-lamb censor kicks in, the one that comes without warning and strips your old life away, replacing it with a heavily appliqued sweater. The evil chip implant that lures you into ankle-length jeans and makes you buy Oprah magazine.

Clearly I must remain vigilant through these next crucial years, watching for the tell-tale signs, those sudden impulses to blurt out my age or add an exclamation point to my date of birth. But unfortunately I must finish there. It’s 9.30pm, time to get my warm milky drink and a hot water bottle.